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Grand Forks man reported missing after Jet-Skiing in Minnesota

BATTLE LAKE, Minn. -- A Grand Forks man was reported missing after he did not return from a ride on a Jet Ski this weekend.

Peter Akinboro, 39, was reported missing about 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, after taking a Jet Ski out on West Battle Lake, about 25 miles east of Fergus Falls, Minn.

A family member discovered the Jet Ski drifting on the lake, but no sign of Akinboro was found, according to the Otter County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Keith Van Dyke of the sheriff’s office said a life preserver was also found with the Jet Ski.

He said the family reported it was the first visit to a large lake for Akinboro, who had not ridden a watercraft before and had “very limited swimming experience.”

Given his inexperience, Van Dyke said the family had been trying to keep an eye on him as he went out on the watercraft. Someone went looking for him right away when he did not immediately return, which is when the watercraft and life preserver were discovered.

“He wasn’t out there very long,” Van Dyke said.

The search for Akinboro began with efforts by the Otter Tail County dive team and water patrol, but has since evolved to include other methods.

“We’ve got a plane that’s circulating the lake now,” Van Dyke said. “The water in West Battle Lake is very clear.”

Cadaver-smelling dogs and advanced sonar systems are also being used. He said there are several portions of the lake that are about 90 feet deep.

The Sheriff’s Office divides the lake in a grid in a situation like this and methodically goes through the body of water until the whole lake is searched.

“It’s a pretty difficult process, but we’ve got a pretty experienced water patrol and dive team,” Van Dyke said.

West Battle Lake is 5,565 acres, and at its deepest point reaches depths of 108 feet, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.